Ed Danks Trades Connecticut for Kenya
by Barbara Chaapel
Ed Danks has two pairs of shoes, eats bread and tea for breakfast everyday, and lives
in a dorm room. His home is at the Pastoral Institute in Kukuyu, Kenya, where he tends the
library and serves as chaplain until theres enough money for that post to be filled
by a Kenyan.
Three years ago Danks was pastor and head of staff of Noroton Presbyterian Church in
Darien, Connecticut, one of the wealthiest suburbs in America.
In August 1996 he resigned from that job, and retired from forty-one years in the
pastorate (twenty-one of them in California and twenty at Noroton) to care for his wife,
Barbara, who was terminally ill. She died in December and in April Danks went to Africa.
"We had been planning to go together," he says. "We had visited in the
1980s and Barbara was the one who really fell in love with Kenya."
by Barbara Chaapel
The Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico (ESPR) is celebrating
its 80th anniversary this year and no one is happier than its president, Dr. Samuel Pagan.
Founded in 1919 by the mission boards of the Baptist, Congregational, Disciples of Christ,
Methodist, and Presbyterian Churches, it has always been ecumenical in its mission,
educating Protestant religious leaders and pastors throughout the Caribbean, Latin
America, and the United States.
But Pagan, a 1977 Th.M. graduate of PTS, is quick to point out that the seminary has
strong Reformed roots. "There was a Presbyterian seminary here as early as
1903," he explains. "James McAllister of Princeton [Class of 1901], was a
missionary in Puerto Rico and you can see his fingerprints all through the early minutes
of ESPR. He was very Reformed, and his influence played an important role in the
evangelical church on this island. Our seminary received great impetus from the early
Presbyterian school he started here.
Pagan himself did not begin his career as a theologian. He was a chemical engineer
before he took his first Bible course at ESPR and "discovered the transforming power
of studying the Bible and of theological education." After his graduation, he came to
Princeton to study the Hebrew Scriptures with Bernhard Anderson and Charles Fritsch
"I was intrigued with deciphering ancient texts using modern technology,"
Pagan says. "It was the beginning of computers being used in archaeology. I wrote my
masters thesis on archaeology, and Fritsch and Anderson urged me to go on for a